Large SUV of the Year 2022: Skoda Kodiaq

The Skoda Kodiaq is the Auto Express 2022 Large SUV of the Year with the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento commended

There’s a new winner in the Large SUV of the Year category, and that prize goes to the Skoda Kodiaq. The Czech brand’s handsome seven-seater has ranked right towards the top of the class ever since its release six years ago, but recent subtle upgrades have been enough to see it regain the honours.

We’re fans of the slightly reprofiled styling; the front end features a more upright grille than before, plus a revised bonnet and slimmer headlights that now house matrix-LED lighting technology in higher trims. Some of the changes, including tweaked bumpers, a reshaped rear spoiler and new wheel designs, are claimed to boost aerodynamic efficiency – and at a time of spiralling fuel costs, even the smallest improvements that might help reduce fuel consumption are welcome.

Inside, Skoda introduced a new two-spoke steering wheel that is becoming something of a signature for the brand’s cabins. It feels great, too, and contributes to an overall feeling of poshness throughout.

We find the way the Kodiaq drives very hard to fault. It’s comfortable, relaxing and has more than enough performance, even when the Czech SUV is fully loaded with seven people and all their stuff.

The Skoda’s versatility, sprinkled with clever touches such as the umbrellas hidden in the door armrests, is something that really impressed us. Fold the back row away and you’ve got a five-seater with a vast 765-litre boot. But even in seven-seat mode, there’s still a usable 270 litres available to store luggage.

Our choice

Skoda Kodiaq 1.5 TSI SE Drive DSG (£34,165)

Above all of the qualities listed on the left, it’s value for money that seals victory for the Kodiaq. Based on a three-year PCP deal with a £3,500 deposit and a 10,000-mile annual limit, the 1.5 TSI SE Drive – our pick of the range – will cost you £462 per month.

Commended

Hyundai Santa Fe

Under the skin, the Hyundai is similar to our other commended choice, but separates itself from the Kia with a slightly more understated style. The driving experience is incredibly soothing, while the kit list is exhaustive; the likes of blind-spot cameras plus heated and ventilated front seats are the sort of gizmos we’d expect on only the most luxurious SUVs.

Kia Sorento

Another seven-seater, the Kia Sorento runs our winner in this category close. It majors on plenty of passenger space across all three rows, great in-car tech, plus the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain that can move the Sorento along in electric-only mode for up to 35 miles. There’s the added bonus of Kia’s excellent seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, too.

The 2022 New Car Awards are brought to you in association with Hankook tyres

New Car Awards 2022: the winners

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